NEW YORK — A rejuvenated affluent consumer is what is needed to help give a boost to the U.S. food service industry, according to research from Packaged Facts.

“For the restaurant industry to rebound, we believe increased discretionary income is the key,” said David Morris, Packaged Facts analyst. “Without it, there simply will be no rebound. The bottom line is that consumers with more money and more stable finances have the potential to spend, and our data shows that consumers are making headway in cleaning up their balance sheets. But for now at-home breakfast and dinner trending remains significant.”

Full-service restaurant sales are increasing, which will help in boosting the dinner meal. Casual and fine dining restaurants rely more on dinner with 55% of casual restaurant users getting a meal at a casual restaurant for dinner, and fine dining restaurants are often completely reliant on dinner.

Fast-food and quick-service restaurants are facing pressure with consumer expectations of lower pricing and ‘trading up’ among recently invigorated spenders.

Yet according to Packaged Fact’s report, “Dinner Trends in the U.S. Foodservice Market,” eating dinner at home instead of a restaurant will bring the greatest economic benefit for the average American family. Those eating dinner at home the most include consumers ages 18 to 24, students, homemakers, females and consumers in households with an income of less than $50,000.